Jeff Huskey, administrator of Clay County Memorial Hospital, introduced commissioners to a new system of federal funding Monday that, if successful, could result in the construction of a Hospice center at the hospital.
Huskey said the federal government has put aside $5 billion to be dispersed among healthcare providers in Texas who are participants in the 1115 Waiver for Medicaid. Huskey said the 1115 Waiver will fund brick-and-mortar projects and sees the opportunity for a Hospice Center with 4-8 beds. Cost to construct the facility would run between $800,000 and $1 million, and would be located were the Schick house once stood.
Huskey said the Hospital Foundation has discussed the possibility of a Hospice Center, and hopes to raise a portion of the funds through donations. Huskey has also been in informal talks with Hospice of Wichita Falls, the only inpatient Hospice in the Wichita Falls area. Huskey said Hospice of Wichita Falls was open to sending overflow to Clay County.
The hospital now receives Medicaid funding through an Upper Payment Limit, or UPL, plan, which pays approximately 38 cents in addition to every dollar submitted to the state.
The 1115 Waiver will work in much the same way, said Huskey, except that it will pay the hospital an additional 40 cents for every dollar submitted and payments from the state will go directly to CCMH instead of through a larger hospital acting as an intermediary.
Huskey said the 1115 Waiver would allow the hospital to give more care to patients, especially as Medicaid is replaced with managed care.
A problem faced by the hospital is that the plan requires participants to submit operating budgets for the next five years.
Huskey also said the plan will not work without the county. Clay County already contracts with the hospital for medical calls at the jail and with the EMS, as well as indigent care.
Huskey’s presentation to commissioners was for information only and no action was taken.